Moonlander

From LinuxReviews
Jump to navigationJump to search
Moonlander
The Moonlander Gemini browser showing the Techrights Gemini site.
The Moonlander Gemini browser showing the Techrights Gemini site.
Original author(s)Ecmel Berk Canlıer
Written inRust
EngineGTK
Operating systemLinux
TypeGemini browser
LicenseMIT
Websitesr.ht/~admicos/moonlander/
Text.png

Moonlander is a plain and simple Gemini capsule browser written in Rust using the GTK toolkit. It has no functionality beyond the ability to display and bookmark gemini:// sites. Many of the keyboard shortcuts you would expect a browser to have are missing. It will let you view Gemini sites and that's about it.

We tested Moonlander 0.1.0/git in April 2021. It was still "Alpha" software at that time, it could have improved by the time you read this. The date and the time you read this may vary.

Features And Usability

Moonlander is a special-purpose browser that lets you browse the special text-only Gemini sites that are available on the Internet using the gemini:// protocol.

Moonlander has tabs so you can have multiple Gemini capsules open at the same time. There is also a bookmark function available using mouse only. That's it in terms of functionality, you can bookmark sites, re-visit bookmarks and manually type in gemini:// links in the address bar and that's it.

Moonlander showing Tunerapp.jpg
The Moonlander Gemini browser showing the TunerApp capsule at gemini://gemini.tunerapp.org.

Most of the keyboard shortcuts you would expect a browser to have are not implemented. There is no ctrl+d shortcut to bookmark or ctrl+b to open a bookmark manager. There are some keybord shortcuts available, though there aren't many.

ctrl+l Takes you to the location bar (same as other browsers
F5 Refreshes a page. ctrl+r doesn't work, there's only F5.
ctrl+t Opens a new tab
ctrl+w Doesn't close a tab, but it will at a later date ("CTRL+W will require a bit more work, so I'll add it later on.")
ctrl++ Doesn't increase the font size, but it will at a later date. ("I intend to get on this at some point")
ctrl+- Doesn't increase the font size, but it will at a later date. ("I intend to get on this at some point")
ctrl+q Quits

There's no other keyboard shortcuts.

The only menu item Moonlander has to offer is About Moonlander. It shows some information about it and a link to the website. There is, ironically, no link to any Moonlander gemini:// capsule.

Verdict And Conclusion

Moonlander lets you view Gemini sites and that it's it, everything else modern browsers have is missing. Moonlander is a Gemini browser, not a web browser for HTML websites, so it is understandable that it is simpler than big web browser such as Mozilla Firefox and Chromium. Still, it's kind of basic. You may like it if you want a really basic bare-bones Gemini browser.

Installation

Moonlander is written in Rust so you need to use cargo to build it.

git clone https://git.sr.ht/~admicos/moonlander
cd moonlander

cargo build --release

cd target/release
strip -s moonlander # optional, cut the file size in half

Stripping the file reduces its size from 8 MiB to 3.7 MiB. It's not huge to begin with, so it doesn't make much of a difference.

There is no make install since it uses cargo. You can install it with cp target/release/moonlander $HOME/bin (assuming you have a $HOME/bin). You don't need any more than the moonlander binary. You may also want to copy misc/moonlander.desktop to $HOME/.local/share/applications and moonlander.svg to $HOME/.local/share/icons/hicolor/scalable (you may have to make that folder) so it shows up in desktop environment menus.

Tips And Tricks

Moonlander does not have any configuration options, there's none. However, there is a configuration file written to $HOME/.config/moonlander/moonlander.toml the first time you launch it. That file contains things like font sizes used for regular and pre-formatted text, among other things. It is possible to edit that file in order to change font sizes, colors and a few other things.

Alternatives

See Gemini#Gemini Browsers for a rather long list of other Gemini browsers.

Links

The homepage, or at least a description of it by the developer, can be found at https://sr.ht/~admicos/moonlander/.


Add your comment
LinuxReviews welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.